The Secrets We Keep (Sugar Sober Series)

In April, my husband was diagnosed with diabetes. His symptoms came on suddenly, and a physical less than six months earlier didn’t even put his sugars on the borderline. Even the doctor was stunned that his numbers jumped so much so quickly. Overnight, our food world shifted.

My husband was amazing. Instantly letting go of carbs and desserts and diligently checking his sugars and giving himself daily insulin shots. He tracked and checked and poked and read labels and threw away buns from burgers and only selected sugar-free frozen yogurts, regardless of the flavor, topping it with only fruit and nuts.

We gave up our go-to spaghetti or pizza dinners and substituted with rotisserie chicken or scrambled eggs when time is short for meal prep. I dug through recipes and discovered new ways to enjoy vegetables (shout out to cauliflower rice!!) and filled plates with fruit instead of bread.

His diligence paid off in huge ways. In less than 5 months, he was off injectable insulin and treating only with diet and medication. He dropped 40 pounds and found contentment with his new normal.

I guess I hoped it would do the same for me. But keeping healthy foods and snacks in the house and cooking diabetes-friendly dinners only served to push my own addiction further into the darkness.

Supportive on the outside. Sugar-filled on the inside.

Picking up candy bars from gas stations. Cookies with lunch. Even creating my own sugary concoctions from whatever I could find in the house after everyone else went to bed.

Our family had broken up with old food habits. But I hung on.

Which only created more shame. And secrets. And shame. And secrets. It’s a nasty cycle of darkness. Always teasing yourself with “one last time” and “I’ll start Monday.”

And things that sit in the dark for too long get musty and putrid and damp and shriveled.
And they get lonely and sad and angry and foggy in the mind.

And all of those feel like the exact opposite of sober.

Sometimes light creeps in little by little, so we can adjust.
But sometimes it just blows the lid of the darkness and exposes everything all at once.

Committing to this journey and the blogging of it feels a little like both. Everyone near me now knows Sugar is off the table for me. But the mustiness that lies deeper is getting the light one layer at a time.

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sugarsoberoctoberIn response to the 31 Day blogging challenge, I will be publishing EVERY DAY in October while I stay sugar-free. You can read previous posts HERE. To be alerted to new posts, please follow me on Facebook or Twitter using the links on the right side of this page. Or Subscribe to get posts sent to your Email. Feel free to Tweet your own experiences with #sugarsoberoctober as well. PLEASE use the comment section to share your own thoughts, questions, or experiences. Like any road, sugar sobriety is one more easily walked with friends. I do my best to reply to every comment.

Ground Rules (Sugar Sober Series)

A few thoughts I want to get out of the way early in this process.

Sugar Sobriety, to me, means eliminating sweets, desserts, sweet tea, sugared drinks, donuts, anything frosted/glazed/sprinkled, sugared additives like chocolate syrup or sugar in coffee.

Yes, I know there is refined sugar in things like ketchup and peanut butter and some salad dressings. I’m not going to worry too much about that. Because I have never once squeezed ketchup packet after ketchup packet into my mouth when I’m sad. When I get stressed out, I don’t reach for a bottle of ranch. I’ve never hidden peanut butter in the back of the pantry so no one else in the family will find it. I fully understand the science of addiction and that my body doesn’t know the difference. But it’s not my primary focus for October.

Similarly. Yes, I know the carbohydrates in bread and grains turn to sugar in my body and are just as damaging (if not more) than actual refined sugar. I have absolutely no doubt that my sobriety journey with sugar is only Step 1 of freedom. But you can’t reach the summit until you’ve cleared the foothills, so I start here and will be open to next steps when the time comes.

Yes, I know artificial sweeteners are evil, too. I may or may not give up diet soda during October. I already drink far less than I have in the past. Sometimes you have to keep your strength by fighting one enemy at a time.

These are the things I think will be my best use of the next 30 days. If you are joining me on this journey, and you feel directed to make a different choice, that’s great. There are many paths up the same mountain, my friend.

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sugarsoberoctoberIn response to the 31 Day blogging challenge, I will be publishing EVERY DAY in October while I stay sugar-free. You can read previous posts HERE. To be alerted to new posts, please follow me on Facebook or Twitter using the links on the right side of this page. Or Subscribe to get posts sent to your Email. Feel free to Tweet your own experiences with #sugarsoberoctober as well.

PLEASE use the comment section to share your own thoughts, questions, or experiences. Like any road, sugar sobriety is one more easily walked with friends. I do my best to reply to every comment.

Beginning Again. Again. (Sugar Sober Series)

plantatreeThere is a Chinese Proverb that says: “The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”

I wish I could say that I got free from sugar and other addicting food habits 20 years ago. But I didn’t. So all I have is now.

Yes, it’s disheartening to be starting again. Once again.

I’ve known for most of my life that food is my go-to pleasure. My comforter when I’m stressed. My party friend when I’m celebrating. My secret when I’m ashamed. My indulgence when I don’t care any more.

And at various times in my 40 years, I’ve known I want to be on a different path. Diets. Exercise. Fasting. Prayer. Counting points. Eliminating food groups. Reading labels. Cutting food in half. Cleaning out my pantry. Stuffing myself on Sunday to get ready for a fresh start on Monday.

A long drawn-out cycle of binge and purge.

Admittedly, I’m only a little confident this can be my last restart. I don’t have a great history of keeping it up. I have fought the battle so many times only to hand the bloodied ground back over to the enemy and return to my foxhole to lick the wounds. (And the frosting off a cupcake.) Staring at the battleground again is daunting. My scars, they itch and twitch with the knowledge of the frustration and sacrifice sure to be coming.

And yet I go forward. Because I have no other choice. Because I have never been more sure that the mountain of victory is on the other side of this fight. And I refuse to live one more minute of my life in defeat.

Knowing I’m sharing this with you all through #Write31Days is both vulnerable and invigorating. I am not anxious to show off my wounds. But it’s good to have friends in the foxhole.

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sugarsoberoctoberIn response to the 31 Day blogging challenge, I will be publishing EVERY DAY in October while I stay sugar-free. You can read previous posts HERE. To be alerted to new posts, please follow me on Facebook or Twitter using the links on the right side of this page. Feel free to Tweet your own experiences with #sugarsoberoctober as well.

PLEASE use the comment section to share your own thoughts, questions, or experiences. Like any road, sugar sobriety is one more easily walked with friends. I do my best to reply to every comment.

For When God Gets Loud. And Very Clear. (Word of The Week)

BeSoberWhen the opportunity was presented, I could hardly catch my breath. It was a goosebump, hair-raising unveiling of what felt like something even better than I had been hoping for. Like the round peg that has been living in the square hole would finally find a perfect home. A long-awaited answer to a deeply passionate prayer.

And then it didn’t happen.

My spirit grieved, and my body pouted. My mind was confused, and my voice cried out in anger and hurt and utter sadness. Another chance like this, I was convinced, would most certainly not come around again.

Had I misheard His promise  that He had heard my prayers? That His Spirit was blowing a fresh wind of change? That my calling had not passed me by? That He would redeem the square-hole days?

And though I have often prayed that God would be “loud in my head” rarely has He been so clear.

Why? I asked.
You aren’t ready, He said.
So what must I do to be ready, Lord?

BE SOBER

There was no question what He was telling me. That my life, my purpose, my calling could go no further until the chains of addition were broken. That they forever would hold me back from reaching anything more. That already, imprisonment to my flesh had kept opportunities and relationships from becoming all that He intended.

And my addiction is food.

I have lost weight before. I’ve even been sugar-free before. For a YEAR. But I’ve never been sober. Not really. Not in any kind of lasting and meaningful way. Not in the clear-headed, taking stock, treating this like a real recovery kind of way.

Sober is a serious word. And He said it’s time to get serious about it.

Even after hearing, I’ve balked at any kind of action for almost 2 weeks. Until I shared my story with a friend, and the moment I said “Be Sober,” her eyes filled with tears. Because she knew, in that instant, the message was meant for her, too.

So I’m bringing the very thing I prefer to keep in the dark right into the light.

You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. (1 Thessalonians 5:5-6)

I’m ready to be ready. I’m starting with Sugar. And committing to be Sugar Sober in October. And to write about it every day — in one way or another. And to trust that the sharing of my story might be any measure of freedom for others who are entangled.

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sugarsoberoctoberIn response to the 31 Day blogging challenge, I will be publishing EVERY DAY in October while I stay sugar-free. You can read previous posts HERE. To be alerted to new posts, please follow me on Facebook or Twitter using the links on the right side of this page. Feel free to Tweet your own experiences with #sugarsoberoctober as well.

PLEASE use the comment section to share your own thoughts, questions, or experiences. Like any road, sugar sobriety is one more easily walked with friends. I do my best to reply to every comment.

Linking with Unforced Rhythms — a wonderful community of writers who gather each Monday to share with you HERE.

 

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